Here is a concoction my daughter and I came up with. This is what we had:
- About a Kilo of Cyprus potatoes
- A swede
- A butternut squash
- A bag of spinach
- Some okra
- Cavalo Nero
- Cheddar cheese
- Some spices.
- Vegetable Bouillon
So taking Shepherds Pie and Tarka Dahl as our inspiration we did:-
We fried a chopped large onion in some oil and then added some finely chopped garlic for a minute. Then we added about 400g of red lentils and about tablespoon of Sambhar powder (see note 1) and a tablespoon of vegetable bouillon . Add lots of boiling water and keep adding as the lentils absorb it. You are aiming for a thick-ish texture.
Meanwhile cook the potatoes, swede and squash. We cubed the potatoes and swede and steamed them for 25 minutes, and put the cubed squash in the oven with some olive oil for about the same amount of time.
Cook the spinach with a little water for 5-10 mins and then drain (give it a good squeeze)
Chop up the okra, broccoli and cavalo nero. When the lentils have softened and started to dissolve into the stock add the vegetables and cook for 10-15 mins.
When the potatoes, swede and squash are cooked mash them together and mix in an egg.
Now get an oven proof dish kinda like you would use for Lasagne or Shepherds Pie. Pour the lentil and vegetables into the bottom and layer the potato mix on top. We found it best to put little flattened bits of mash on top so we didn’t have to spread it.
Grate up some cheese and sprinkle over the top. Pop it in the oven for 25 mins. You can wash up while its in the oven so you don’t have much to do after dinner which is always nice.
You could of course change the vegetable for whatever you have handy.
1. Sambhar is a blend of spices used in south Indian cooking according to my little Cooking of Southern India book (ISBN-13: 978-0859414890). There are lots of recipes on the net but the book says:
5 tablespoons chilli powder
5 tablespoons of ground coriander
3 tablespoons of funugreek, dry roasted and ground.
1 teaspoon mustard seeds also dry roasted and ground.
All mixed together.